Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pasadena Symphony and Pops Concert

Tonight R2 and many other Star Wars characters appeared at an outdoor concert put on by the Pasadena Symphony and Pops. Singer Jodi Benson (the singing voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid and Jasmine in Aladdin) also performed.

The locale was adjacent to the Rose Bowl.

The plan was to meet, greet and provide photo ops with the guests, and then do a short stage appearance during the show.

I arrived extra early to check out the stage area with SoCal 501st CO Lesley Farquhar, as we discussed the appearance with our contact/stage manager Lora. It was hot out there, like 95 to 100 degrees hot.

The other folks from the Rebel Legion and 501st arrived, and were instructed on staging order and schedule.

Shortly before the 6:00pm meet and greet, the costumes went on.

Once everyone was ready, we went out and entertained the crowd. The drivetrain did just fine on the short grass, but there were a few gopher holes that decided to surprise me, from time to time.

Once we were done with the guests, I parked R2 just past the curtain on stage-right.

Our appearance was scheduled after intermission, so I was able to take in the first half of the concert.

Finally, it was our turn to go on. The appearance was planned to be very short. The characters would come on stage at the beginning of the Star Wars main theme, stay a minute or so, and then exit the stage when the theme transitioned.

As planned during rehearsal, R2 trailed the other characters so that I could maintain a line of sight at all times. What was not planned, however, was that as the characters left the stage, stage manager Lora told me at the very last second to have R2 stay out on stage by himself and the orchestra. They requested that I improvise something on stage, so I ended up having R2 do some sort of strange interpretive dance. Near the end of the movement, Lora told me "Okay, bring him home." And that was that.

The video is kind of long, but I managed to amuse myself at the 3:23 mark with R2's utility arms.

Darrin Forsythe appeared during the Imperial March to take over conducting duties.

It was an enjoyable evening.

The full photoset is here.

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